Ahead of each UFC battle card, Jay Primetown of all MMA Oddsbreaker have a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we consider the primary event of UFC 220 as Stipe Miocic defends his heavyweight championship against Francis Ngannou. This can be Francis Ngannou’s initial major event and first time fighting for the UFC heavyweight championship, despite this, he is still the betting favorite.
Stipe Miocic (Record: 17-2, +165 Underdog, Power Ranking: A+)
The 35-year-old life Ohio native has been on a tear, winning his last five fights as a decision loss to Junior dos Santos in 2014. He enters Saturday’s title fight on the rear of a knockout victory over dos Santos in their rematch in May 2017. In case Miocic beats dos Santos, he’ll break the record for consecutive title defenses at heavyweight with three.
Miocic is one of the most well-rounded athletes in the heavyweight division. In addition to wrestling, he also played baseball in school, even drawing attention from some Major League Baseball teams. In regards to MMA, he has an amateur boxing history competing in the Golden Gloves competition. Miocic is a fantastic striker having solid hands and operates an extremely large rate to get a heavyweight landing a whopping 5.15 significant strikes a minute. In contrast, he’s only absorbing 3.30 significant strikes per second with 61 percent defense that is striking.
Miocic combines his striking wrestling scoring over two takedowns every 15 minutes within the octagon. Miocic isn’t the branch’s hardest puncher, but he moves very well and has proven an ability to avoid taking much harm. Miocic has a solid motor complete and can even work an adequate speed late in fights. On the side, opponents can hurt him. He was amazed by Overeem only a few bouts ago, so that’s something to watch for moving forward.
Francis Ngannou (Record: 11-1, -175 Favorite, Power Ranking: A+)
On a six fight winning streak to start his UFC career, Francis Ngannou has quickly risen to be a true danger to Stipe Miocic’s crown. He has completed all six of his UFC opponents with his last four successes all coming within the opening two minutes of those bouts.
The Cameroon born heavyweight began training in boxing in his native Cameroon before proceeding to France at the age of 22. He was homeless for a time period, residing in the streets of Paris as he picked up odd jobs here and there before he joined up in MMA Factory and turned to a fighter. He started fighting professionally in 2013 and never return.
The 6’4″ heavyweight has one of the longest reaches MMA in 83″ inches. His output is small for a heavyweight at 3.41 significant strikes per minute. He’s got substantial power in his hands (seven career knockouts), but he is not a fighter that appears to brawl. He’s fairly patient timing his chances. He will go for it when he senses a finish.
From an athletic standpoint, he is about as good as there is at the UFC. He’s muscular, exceptionally strong, and nimble. He is a fighter which can do things that other fighters cannot do inside the Octagon. The majority of his endings have come early in conflicts; Ngannou hasn’t yet been pushed yet so it is a complete unknown what kind of pace he’d struggle at if pressed into the tournament rounds. His takedown defense is decent, but it’s not elite therefore he can be carried down to the mat by wrestling concentrated fighters.
On the toes, his chin has seldom been analyzed. His striking defense is excellent absorbing only 1.46 significant strikes per minute with 60percent striking defense. He was staggered by Curtis Blaydes in his second UFC struggle, but recovered fast and ended up winning by doctor stoppage. That is the only time he’s been contested. Perhaps that was a moment of weakness or even a fluke. Until he is tested again, it will be hard to tell how he copes with adversity.

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